Keyboards are a funny thing. Each tends to come with their own niche and fanbase. Where some like the minimalist, others like tons of buttons and options. As the price may indicate, the Razer Huntsman V2 Analog is the latter, coming with a hefty weight and tons of little worthwhile design choices. Though it may be intended to replace a gamepad, it actually replaces so much more.
How does the Razer Huntsman V2 Analog look?
Right out of the box, it's clear you have something quite impressive with the Razer Huntsman V2 Analog. Its heavy frame hides a sturdy, lovely feeling keyboard at its core. There's quite a lot in the box including the keyboard itself, a rest that clips to the bottom, the two wires needed to power it and an adapter on the side. In a very silly move, I totally missed the USB-C to USB adapter that was held in the box and waited far too long to get another one before spotting it as my PC does not have a USB-C port. As long as you have two free USB slots on your PC, the Huntsman will work fine.
Although you are losing two USB slots on your PC, you make up for one via a USB 3.0 passthrough on the side of the keyboard. This is a great place to plug in a controller, mouse or USB that you might frequently unplug and change around. There's a lot of small design decisions in the Razer Huntsman V2 Analog that makes it quite nice to use. It comes with a rest for your wrists when typing that magnetically attaches to the bottom. It adds a level of comfort to typing that most keyboards don't have and it's entirely optional so you can get rid of it if isn't to your tastes.
Fitted with a sturdy mechanical frame and RGB strips on the side, this fits rather well into Razer's design philosophy - A sleek Black frame and some nice lighting. The lighting on the side and in the keys also extends to the wrist pad and lights up when connected. The keyboard itself is slanted at an angle that complements the wrist rest. It doesn't sit horizontally; it instead has a small incline to it. The keys sound great and feel comfortable with nice grooved tops to them. Due to their doubleshot molding process, Razer makes a guarantee they won't fade but you might need to come back in a year or two to verify this.
Another small but noticeable design is the inclusion of 4 media keys at the top right. Initially, the left one goes backwards, the middle one pauses and the right one goes forward, while the big sliding key to the very right controls volume. You can turn it up or down or mute the PC instantly. If you listen to podcasts while you play or simply want to bring down the volume quickly, these are great additions. Moving from this to a keyboard without it is noticeably less nice to control. You can also reconfigure them to function differently if you so choose.
Configure it out
Configuration is at the heart of the Razer Huntsman V2 Analog's design. You can remap buttons, change the wrist rest and, most importantly, take advantage of the analog keys. Essentially, analog optical switches like those found in the Razer Huntsman V2 analog provide key presses that are more in line with a controller than a keyboard. It can register weight and act accordingly under that weight. The best example of this is in driving games where a harder press might make you build speed quicker and a softer press will leave to a less sharp rise.
In actuality, this works rather well but has limited functionality. Ultimately, I still preferred driving games on the controller (The PowerA Fusion Pro) but other games can use this to great effect. For instance, you can choose to have a walk engage with a light tap of the W key and run engage with a hard push. More buttons and controls just give you access to a slightly higher skill ceiling, and the keys feel great and responsive with adjustable actuation.
Another interesting feature these keys have is the Dual-Step actuation function. With the Razer Synapse program, you can have one key do different actions based on how far you push. For instance, you could have a key reload your weapon with a light push or show it off with a heavy push. This is a really interesting system that takes a while to get used to but allows a lot of interesting customization for the future. MMOs could be made much easier with lots of easy to use keys (if you play MMOs, you might want to check out our Razer Naga X review)
There is really so much to love when it comes to the Razer Huntsman V2 Analog. I've managed to use it for a handful of weeks now and have found very little to complain about. The latency is great, keys feel fantastic and produce a nice satisfying sound, and it just looks great on a desk set up. The only things I could really find that are off-putting are the very high price tag and the use of 2 USB slots in your PC. If you have the cash and the storage for it, it's hard not to recommend it.
There are lots of things that make a keyboard really work for you. Maybe you like lots of customization and ways of saving time? Maybe you like it to feel comfortable in use? Maybe you like the satisfying click of the keys as you type away? The Razer Huntsman V2 has all of these, and that's part of what made me enjoy my time with it so much. It is quite expensive, fairly heavy, and uses two USB slots, but they are sacrifices I'm more than willing to make for one of the very best keyboards in the market.
The Razer Huntsman V2 Analog was provided by Razer and is available from their site now